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    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Books I Love

    First, an update on Mom: The surgery went well and she is on the right track for recovery—working hard for those meanie physical therapists. Yesterday she moved to the rehab floor at the hospital. We don’t know how long she’ll stay there, but since she’s struggled with a little dizziness when she gets up, her progress has been slowed just a little bit. Thanks for continuing to pray for her! We so appreciate it.

    Now, I thought I’d share some decidedly delicious books I’ve read lately. Reading is definitely stress relief for me, and my first choice of brain candy is a good ol’, toe-tingling romance.

    Kristin Billerbeck has been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her Ashley Stockingdale series. Her latest novel A Billion Reasons Why is a classy, rich read packed with sizzling romantic tension. I could identify with heroine Katie McKenna, who felt she always had to make the safe, “right” choice to make up for past mistakes. When Katie is forced to return to New Orleans, she must deal with the events that caused her to choose her current risk-free life. Top of the list is Luc DeForges, her college boyfriend who broke her heart.

    I love Kristin’s vivid storytelling. A Billion Reasons Why is full of 1940’s flair, and Kristin’s descriptions make you feel like you’re watching a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie in color. Katie’s love of all things retro had me searching the Internet for 40’s style dresses. But even though I can’t help wishing for a little more glamour in my life when I read a Billerbeck novel, I always feel grounded by her characters’ growth throughout the story. She has a knack for gently yet firmly presenting truth. One of the themes of A Billion Reasons Why is that you must be who God created you to be and not who other people tell you to be. I could see my own issues and hang-ups in Katie’s struggle to choose to shine as God made her, and I think many women will feel the same as they read this book. Check it out if you haven’t already!

    My other recent favorite read is Jenny B. Jones’s Save The Date. Jenny’s blog is a thing of beauty, like a free sample at the Russell Stover’s store. Her books are like eating the whole box.

    Jenny’s characters are people you want to know, but at the same time they’re larger than life. You can’t help loving Lucy, the big-hearted heroine who agrees to an engagement of convenience in order to save her home for girls who’ve aged out of the foster care system. But while spunky and sassy are expected in this genre, Lucy isn’t the typical romantic comedy character. She’s a sci-fi nerd for one thing. I loved all the geek references and could totally picture her group of friends, The Hobbits.

    Alex is romantic lead worthy of the best rom-com. I wanted to hate him because he’s an ex-football player and I hate football. But darn that Jenny Jones, she made him lovable. As the story progresses you see behind Alex’s persona and it’s impossible not to root for him. Plus, the pages all but smoke with the romantic tension between Alex and Lucy.

    There are some wonderful secondary characters in Save The Date. Julian. That’s all I’m gonna say. Read the book.

    I hope you’ll pick up these two books. You won’t be sorry, unless, well, unless you’re a guy and then you might be like, “Where are the car chases and exploding buildings?” In which case, you’re reading the wrong blog.


    Atypical Girl said...

    Hahah...I love the way you describe Jenny's blog. Brilliant.

    Also, glad mom is well on her way to recovery!

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    Just finished Save the Date. Loved Julian too.